Structural and Chemical Modification of Fe-Rich Smectite Associated with Microbial Fe-Respiration By Psychrophilic Bacteria in King George Island, West Antarctica

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jaewoo Jung1, Jeeyoung Kim2, Hyoun Soo Lim3, Hoil Yoon4, Yoo Kyung Lee4, Kyeongyang Park5, Jungbae Lee5 and Jin-wook Kim1, (1)Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, (2)NIER National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon, South Korea, (3)Pusan University, Department of Geological Sciences, Pusan, South Korea, (4)KOPRI Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, South Korea, (5)Hannam University, Daegeon, South Korea
Surface soil samples were collected from Antarctic exploration (2010/2011, 2011/2012) at Barton Peninsula, King George Island, West Antarctica to determine the feasible biological alteration of clay minerals in Antarctica where the physical weathering is considered to be a major process. Seven areas (1226-1, 1226-2, 0101-4, 0105-1, 0105-2, 0107-2, 0107-3) from the coast toward the inland were investigated. The duration of exposure of soil samples to the air depending on the retraction of ice to the inland may affect the microbial activity resulting in the biogeochemical mineral alteration. The multiline of techniques for example, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), wet chemistry analysis including the extent of Fe(III) reduction, and batch experiments of microbe-mineral interaction under the low temperature that mimics the Antarctic condition to understand the mechanism of biogeochemical alteration of clay minerals. Clay minerals of smectite, mica, chlorite and kaolinite were detected in the XRD profiles. The variation of relative amount of clay minerals in the regions indicated that the physical/biological alteration might be different depending on the duration of ice retraction. From the batch experiment using Nontronite (NAu-1), moreover, we confirm that Psychrophilic bacteria (Shewanella sp. isolated from King George Island) reduce structural Fe(III) of clay mineral, and occur structural change of smectite at low temperature (4℃ and 15℃). The present study, therefore, would present the feasibility of biological effects on chemical modification through the structural changes in clay mineral in cold environment and suggest a new pathway of Fe-supply into the Antarctic Ocean.